Foreign Minister Westerwelle issued the following statement in Berlin today (8 March) on North Korea’s most recent threats:
We strongly condemn North Korea’s most recent threats of a preemptive nuclear strike and the cancelling of the Non‑Aggression Pact with Seoul.
I strongly urge North Korea’s leadership not to further exacerbate the situation in the region through irresponsible sabre-rattling. North Korea’s bellicose rhetoric must stop. North Korea must immediately cease its tests of missiles and nuclear weapons in accordance with international law.
With its policy of provocation and bellicose rhetoric, the leadership in Pyongyang is only driving the country further into international isolation. This international isolation increases the poverty of the population of North Korea. The policies of North Korea’s leadership are thus directed first and foremost against its own people.
With the new sanctions against North Korea, the United Nations Security Council has sent an unambiguous message: the international community will not accept Pyongyang’s policy of nuclear blackmail.
It is also now Beijing’s responsibility to make it clear to the rulers in Pyongyang that they have gone too far with these new threats and provocations. I welcome the fact that China has assumed its special responsibility in the United Nations Security Council in New York. I hope that China will use its influence in Pyongyang to end the sabre-rattling, bellicose rhetoric, provocations and violations of international law.
On the sidelines of the External Relations Council in Brussels on Monday, we will discuss with our colleagues from the European Union about how we Europeans can do our part to keep the pressure on the regime in North Korea and how to increase the pressure further in response to the most recent escalation and bellicose rhetoric.